Shelter in Place
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

I'm lying on my bed,
door to my walled-in garden
is open.
A gentle breeze
rustles the curtains,
kisses my bare skin
and I think
I could be out sailing today…
perfect weather.
I picture the white sails
filled with gusts of wind,
billowing out against
a clear and cloudless cerulean sky.

But for lockdown I'm
staying inside.

Sheltering in place.

I watch the magpies,
flitting from branch
to branch in the naked,
quivering aspens
outside the French doors
and I think
I'd like to drive
up to Questa
to buy a canary…

to keep me company
when I'm here all alone.

Sheltering in place.

I gaze out across
the Sangre de Cristos
and I think
I could be hiking right now…
getting a little exercise
on the steep climb,
the switch-back paths
to Wheeler Peak.

I'm becoming a couch potato
fat and lazy.

Sheltering in place.

I'm hungry but I've run out of
wasabi mayo, Cajun salmon
and other delicacies I can only get
at Trader Joe's,
65 miles down
a winding, curving highway
to Santa Fe.

I'll just nosh on what I have
in the larder
from Smith's or Albertson's,
because I'm

Sheltering in place.

Or I could be lying, eyes closed,
hands folded across my breast
right now
in a willow coffin
lined with a celadon wool
Chief Joseph Pendleton blanket

because I didn't take heed

Shelter in place!


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